94-Year-Old Grandmother Sets Out To Visit All 7 Continents With Her Grandson

Joy Ryan, from Zanesville, Ohio, started traveling for the first time in her life in 2015, when she was 85 years old. Confessing to her grandson Brad that she had never seen a mountain range or been camping, she set out on a quest to visit every continent in the world. Since then, the pair have racked up thousands of miles, and Joy is thrilled that it has helped her to get out of her comfort zone and face her fears. The duo finished their quest to visit every U.S. national park in May 2023, with their finishing point being the National Park of American Samoa. Most recently, they wrapped up their South American adventure with a trip to Chile. They enjoyed some incredible vineyards and restaurants while there, including Olá Bar and Food at Olá Santiago Providencia. To date, Joy’s other overseas travels have taken her to Samoa, Canada, Kenya, and Ecuador. In terms of her most epic experience so far, Joy says it was their trip to Alaska, where they had the opportunity to go whitewater rafting in the rapids of the McCarthy River in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. That, she says, helped her overcome a childhood fear of water. Looking ahead, Brad and Joy are trying to figure out where they’re going to go in Europe, Antarctica, and Australia, which will complete their quest of hitting every continent. Brad, who is a veterinarian, noted after reaching the final step in their national park journey that they showed the world, “You’re never too old to show up and live the adventurous life of your dreams.”
Channel Islands National Park, California

Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia

Whitewater Rafting in Alaska